The capital of Cuba, Havana is filled with Caribbean flavor, beautiful architecture and a vibrant atmosphere. With tourism to the country recently opening up, there are plenty of attractions to see in the city – from the historic Old Havana to the modern Malecón and City Centre.
If you want a more local experience in Havana, taking a tour is a great option. Whether you want to ride in a classic car or check out some of the community art projects across the city, there are plenty of great options available – often with a complimentary cocktail for you to enjoy during the tour.
These are the 15 best tours you can take in Havana.
1. 2-Hour Classic American Car Tour
Cuba is famous for its classic American cars, and this tour is a fantastic way to experience the city.
Limited to groups of four, this two-hour tour will take you through the main sights in Havana on board a 1950s American convertible. You will visit the city center, as well as Miramar and the Malecón.
Your knowledgeable tour guide will tell you about the history and culture of Cuba, as well as why old American cars are so prolific across the country. A complimentary cocktail is included at Hotel Nacional.
2. Private Tour with a Local
The best way to discover anywhere in Cuba is with a local. This tour takes you on a private excursion around Havana. You will be able to personalize your itinerary and gain real insight into how locals live.
While the tour takes you around all the major sights, it also has a practical element; you can learn where to buy groceries, food, and souvenirs at local rates.
You can also receive help to exchange your tourist convertible currency into local pesos. This is a great way to get out of the tourist zones and learn about the real Havana.
3. Cabaret Tropicana Admission Ticket
Cuba has a vibrant and unique culture which can be experienced across Havana. The Cabaret Tropicana is a combination of music, dance and bright costumes to bring you a great display of Cuban spirit.
This two-hour performance draws influence from Caribbean music, bright carnivals and even a little bit of ballet. All ticket holders are provided with a complimentary welcome drink, a ¼ bottle of Havana rum and a plate of snacks.
There are other packages which include souvenirs, higher quality rum, and seating choices. This is a floor show, meaning performers interact with the audience throughout the performance.
4. Sunny Viñales Day Tour from Havana
Viñales is a great place to discover some rural Cuban culture. With this tour, you will ride in a private taxi to the region, where you will be able to explore the area on horseback.
You will visit coffee and tobacco plantations, as well as learn how to roll your own Cuban cigars. The tour also includes a boat trip to Cueva del Indio and a typical lunch at Fina el Paraiso.
The horseback riding segment is four hours long, so guests should have a reasonable level of physical fitness.
5. 2-Hour Afro-Cuban Religions Walking Tour
See another side of Havana with this tour that lets you learn about the Afro-Cuban religions in the city and the influences they have on local culture.
You will visit Callejón de Hammel, the center of these religions and cultural practices. Your tour guide will help you interact with locals and learn more about their way of life.
The tour also includes a walk through the colorful streets decorated by local children, and the chance to experience rumba performances. A complimentary beverage is provided at the end of the tour for you to unwind.
6. Off-the-Beaten Track
Now that tourism to Cuba has opened up to Americans, many parts of Havana city center have started to develop a reputation as tourist traps.
This tour takes you away from these locations and into the sights and sounds of real Cuba. You will be shown how the state-run agriculture industry operates, as well as some local workshops and gardens.
A typical Creole lunch is provided, with two beverages for you to sip on and relax with after your tour. You will also be given a ticket for local transportation, allowing you to cover more ground on the trip.
7. From Havana: Trinidad and Cienfuegos Private Tour
This is another great tour for getting out of the city and into more traditional areas of Cuba. In Cienfuegos, you will discover Spanish colonial architecture and the lifestyle of Cuban government officials.
In Trinidad, you will be shown colorful streets and ceramic squares filled with beautiful churches and traditional restaurants.
The private tour includes transport in a taxi between each location. You will also visit a ceramic factory and learn about local production methods.
8. On The Trail of Ernest Hemingway Tour
Cuba is the place Ernest Hemingway called home for much of his life, and there are plenty of great attractions dedicated to the writer across the country.
Including pick-up from your hotel, this tour takes you to the Hemingway Museum in Finca Vigía and to the town of Cojímar, where there is a monument to him.
You will also visit some of his favorite haunts, including the Floridita Bar. Admission costs are included, as well as lunch allowing you to replicate the life of the famous writer.
9. Private Cuban Cooking Class
Dive deep into Cuban cuisine with this excellent cooking class with a local chef. You will learn how to select the best ingredients for cooking, as well as how to prepare them to make a variety of Cuban dishes.
You will begin with a tour of a local market, before continuing through old Havana to learn about the local economy and culture.
At the guesthouse, you will be taught about the most famous Cuban dishes and given the opportunity to make your own meal. Recipes are provided for you to take home with you.
10. Havana Art by Night
Havana has a thriving art scene thanks to the many workshops and initiatives across the city.
This tour begins with a visit to a local art gallery, where you will be provided with a complimentary cocktail to enjoy as you learn about local artists. A typical Cuban lunch is then provided before you head out on a tour of the city in a vintage American car.
The tour finishes at Fábrica de Arte Cubano, where you will discover the art and music projects they provide for locals in the city.
11. Havana by E-bike
If you are looking for a fun way to take in the main sights of Havana, this e-bike tour lets you cover more ground and enjoy something a little more active.
The bikes are electric, so this is suitable for most fitness levels. You will be shown Central Havana, the Malecón and Old Havana, as well as the Miramar area.
All safety equipment is provided, as well as a bottle of water to keep you hydrated along the journey. There are plenty of photo stops along the way, as well as a final visit to a local café to recharge.
12. Havana City Tour
This tour is a great way to get your bearings on your first day in the city. You will be taken to all of the most important tourist attractions, as well as into more local areas where you can discover another side of Havana.
Transportation is included, meaning you can cover many different areas of the city in this tour. Your local guide will tell you about the fascinating history of the city, as well as the underground economy that many of the locals rely on to get by.
You will discover the stark contrasts between old and new in the city, and learn about the best areas to visit during the rest of your trip.
13. Community Art Projects Tour
A lot of the best art in Havana comes from community projects across the city. With this tour, you will be able to discover the great work being done by local initiatives to help residents unleash their creativity.
You will discover local music, art, and cuisine on this tour through some of the least touristy neighborhoods in the city.
A typical Cuban lunch is provided, as well as beverages and a performance by one of the local art projects. The tour finishes with a visit to see some great examples of street art in the area.
14. Discover Old Havana: Small Group City Walking Tour
This is another great walking tour for your first day in Havana, focusing on the Old Havana area. This part of the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to its beautiful architecture and unique culture.
You will learn about the history of the buildings and monuments in Old Havana through your local, experienced guide.
You will also visit cathedrals, discover hidden alleys and experience live Cuban music. A complimentary cocktail and lunch are included, allowing you to take in the atmosphere of the city fully.
15. City Sightseeing Bike Tour
This tour is perfect if you would much rather use a regular bike, and is geared towards guests with reasonable levels of physical fitness.
This bike tour allows you to get the blood pumping while you discover the vast coastline of the Malecón, hidden streets of Old Havana and impressive sights of the modern city.
At 4.5 hours, this journey has plenty of stops for you to relax and take in the atmosphere, as well as visits to some community art projects.
Your trip ends with a visit to a local restaurant, where you can enjoy a light lunch and complimentary cocktail.